Time To Manage Your Social Media

April 8, 2009
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by Matt Churchill

We are surrounded by social media. From RSS feeds and the blogosphere, to Twitter and social networks such as Facebook and Linked In. We are very lucky to have access to all of these wonderful tools that help us to communicate ideas, share theories and co-operate in business. But, managing these different aspects […]

by Matt Churchill

time-managing-social-media

We are surrounded by social media. From RSS feeds and the blogosphere, to Twitter and social networks such as Facebook and Linked In. We are very lucky to have access to all of these wonderful tools that help us to communicate ideas, share theories and co-operate in business. But, managing these different aspects of our online lives can be extremely time consuming, especially if we have lots of contacts in many different social spheres. It could take all day to respond to everyone who leaves comments on our blogs and to leave comments for others, let alone tweeting about the cool things we find on the web and uploading the latest holiday snaps to Flickr.

But, who has all day to do such things?

Effective social media management is quickly becoming a key skill in the 21st Century and will help you to be more productive as the way we use the Internet to communicate develops. Here’s some simple steps you can take to manage your social media time more effectively:

Find the blogs that are most relevant to you, and stick with them

This isn’t to say, don’t read anything else, but with so much information at your fingertips, it is better to prioritize material that will be most beneficial to you, and read other blogs and websites at your leisure later.

Restrict Your Twittering

Is it really necessary to tweet every 20 minutes, regardless of how good you think the article/picture/video is that you’re sharing? probably not. And is it necessary to always have Twitter open in your browser so you can refresh it every 30 seconds? Again probably not so.

A more effective way of using Twitter is to use an application like Tweetdeck and monitor specific key words related to your field of expertise. This means you don’t need to follow every single conversation that takes place in the group of people you follow AND it introduces you to new people who are talking about the same topic. When you’re Retweeting links and sharing information for the first time, be certain it’s not something that’s already flown around the twittersphere before you post it – it keeps noise down and makes the material you do post of a higher value to your followers.

Have a clear out of RSS feeds you don’t read

Always a tough one, but set some time aside to look through your RSS feeds and look at which ones you’ve not read in more than a month, and then delete them from your reading list. If that’s too much to bear, set up a new folder and place feeds you rarely read into it, whilst categorizing the ones you do read into new folders. Bloglines is an easy platform for doing this, and again helps you to prioritize the information you really need right now.

Manage Your Social Networks

Sometimes you join a social network because it has just been launched, or a friend who is no longer using it invited you to accompany them on the platform, and then never use it again. Then, when you sign up for an identity aggregator like Friend Feed you remember all about it and add it to the list of services you use. This, although gratifying to see lots of shiny buttons and colours from various networks in your feed, means you have to wade through further sign up forms and then read more information.

Cull the services you don’t use regularly – focus on the few networks that make a difference to your online experience and engage with them more, making contacts will all of a sudden be a heck of a lot easier!

What other tips would you give to help manage your social media time?

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